Zimbabwe – 166-6 in 20 overs (Wessly Madhevere 73, Ryan Burl 34*, Dion Myers 26; Shoriful Islam 3/33, Mahedi Hasan 1/11, Shakib Al Hasan 1/32)
Bangladesh – 143 all out in 19.5 overs (Shamim Hossain 29, Afif Hossain 24, Mohammad Saifuddin 19; Wellington Masakadza 3/20, Luke Jongwe 3/31, Blessing Muzarabani 2/21)
Zimbabwe won by 23 runs
Wessly Madhevere’s career-best 73 laid the groundwork for Zimbabwe’s series-levelling 23-run victory over Bangladesh in the second Twenty20 international (T20I) match at Harare Sports Club on Friday.
His terrific effort, complemented by Ryan Burl’s rumbustious knock of 34 not out, propelled the home side to a total of 166 for six after they opted to bat first upon winning the toss.
Zimbabwe then rolled the tourists for 143 in 19.5 overs to clinch the victory, with left-arm spinner Wellington Masakadza starring with three for 20 from four overs.
The sides will now meet in a winner-takes-all T20I at the same venue on Sunday.
After losing the first game by eight wickets, Zimbabwe brought in Chatara and Milton Shumba for this match, in place of Richard Ngarava and Tarisai Musakanda.
The hosts opened their batting with Tadiwanashe Marumani and Madhevere against the bowling of Taskin Ahmed and Mahedi Hasan.
Marumani hit the first ball of the match, on his legs from Taskin, for three backward of square leg and only some excellent fielding prevented a four.
Madhevere quickly found his touch against Mahedi, driving his first ball straight for six and following it with a four through the covers.
However, Mahedi then bowled Marumani for three with a ball that came back off the pitch; 15 for one in the second over.
Regis Chakabva was fortunate not to go without scoring, as he miscued a ball that skyed between two fielders.
He soon hammered a delivery from Shoriful Islam for six over midwicket as Zimbabwe made a dynamic start – after five overs, they had 41 runs on the board.
Shakib Al Hasan came on to bowl and as so often responded with a wicket: Chakabva lofted a ball towards long-off and was caught for 14; 42 for two.
Dion Myers joined Madhevere, both batting well, although canny Bangladesh bowling prevented them from using many big shots.
After 10 overs, Zimbabwe were 77 for two.
In the 11th over, becoming frustrated, both batsmen in turn survived a run-out chance that was missed by the fielders.
In the 13th over, Madhevere hit a boundary past point off Shoriful to reach his third T20I fifty off 45 balls.
With the score on 99, Myers failed to clear the boundary at deep point off Shoriful and was caught for 26 off 21 balls.
Moments later, Sikandar Raza was run out for four as the batsmen looked for a quick single; 122 for four in the 16th over.
Madhevere’s innings then ended at 73, as he skyed a big hit off Shoriful to midwicket – he faced 67 balls, hit three sixes and five fours, and the score was 139 for five wickets in the 18th over.
Zimbabwe now needed some powerful hitting from Burl and this is what they got.
In the last two overs 26 runs came, mostly from Burl, and he finished with 34 not out off 19 balls, with two sixes and two fours.
His partner, Luke Jongwe, scored two runs before he was caught in the deep off the last ball of the innings, bowled by Shoriful, as he tried unsuccessfully for a six.
The total was 166 for six.
Bangladesh opened their batting with Mohammad Naim and Soumya Sarkar, and Raza, the Zimbabwe captain, opened the bowling with his own off-breaks.
Seven runs came off that over.
Tendai Chatara took the other end and then Blessing Muzarabani came on, with immediate effect.
Naim (5) chopped down on his first ball, short of a length, and played it on to his middle stump from the inside edge; 14 for one in the third over.
Three balls later, Muzarabani struck again, as Soumya (8) hammered a ball straight to Raza at cover, where he held a hard high catch; 17 for two now.
Mahedi and Shakib then played fine cricket and a dangerous partnership developed, when Raza brought on Masakadza to bowl.
Shakib came down the pitch to him, but Masakadza adjusted his length so that the most dangerous Bangladeshi player hit a catch straight to Raza at cover to depart for 12; 45 for three in the seventh over.
In his next over, Masakadza got rid of Mahmudullah, who tried to hit him for six over long-on, but was instead caught by the boundary fielder, the substitute Tarisai Musakanda, for four; 52 for four in the ninth over, and the Bangladesh innings was now in the balance.
Three balls later, Mahedi (15) swung rather wildly and hit a catch straight to Burl at long-on, reducing the visitors to 54 for five and the required run rate was now over 10.
This meant that Bangladesh had no time to consolidate, but had to keep attacking at all costs.
At 68 they lost Nurul Hasan (9), Masakadza being the catcher this time on the point boundary, off the bowling of Chatara in the 12th over.
But now Bangladesh began to fight back with a vengeance, as two young players in Afif Hossain and Shamim Hossain launched an assault on the bowling with powerful strokeplay.
They took 16 off an over from Madhevere, and Bangladesh were taking hope again.
Then Shamim (29 off 13 balls) drove a ball from Jongwe to long-off, where Masakadza took another catch, making the score 109 for seven in the 16th over.
Afif skyed a big hit off his next ball, and a difficult chance was missed in the deep.
Saifuddin then hit a huge straight six, but Jongwe completed the over safely, which meant that Bangladesh now needed 49 to win in the last four overs.
Muzarabani returned to bowl his third over and conceded eight runs.
Chatara bowled next, sent down a wide, and then Afif (24) pulled a catch to Shumba at fine leg; 127 for eight.
Six runs and a wicket came off that over and Bangladesh now needed 35 off the final two overs.
A fine over by Muzarabani left them needing 31 to win off the final over, bowled by Jongwe.
A wide was followed by a four for Saifuddin, who then skyed a catch, taken by Raza at extra cover, and then the innings came to an end off the fifth ball as Taskin hit the ball straight to long-on where it was caught by Masakadza.
It was Masakadza’s third catch, to add to his three vital middle-order wickets for only 20 runs.
Jongwe also took three wickets, cleaning up the tail for 31 runs, while there were two wickets each for Chatara and Muzarabani.